Published: October 13th 2017
Publisher: Small Frye Publishing
Read Date: March 2018
Genre: Science-Fiction / YA /Dystopian
Elena Ransom is on the adventure of a lifetime with her friends. After illegally crossing from Grimsby School of the Republic into the outside world , the members of the Firebird Unit face many dangerous challenges. But the true test of their friendship comes when they’re all caught coming back into the dome cities where they live.
After being sent back to school, Elena faces a new schedule and course workload, plus she’s forced to participate in group work with students she’s never had to deal with before. In addition to her regular life, Elena faces questions about the artifacts that she, Austin, Fergie, and their other friends are looking for. Will they get to all the artifacts in time?
Elena Ransom and the Catalan Atlas is second book in Elena Ransom series.
First Book- Elena Ransom and the Firebird Unit by J.S. Wood
(You’re welcome to read that first book review but I’m warning you I wrote it when I was new to this blog. It’s not that long and informative.)
This book should be read in order as it started literally where the first book ended. It was narrated in third person POV, revolved around Elena and her friends’ life at Grimsby School and the dystopian world that affected them and changed the course of their life. It told about how Elena and her friends in firebird unit were destined to work together on solving the mystery, their parents left behind, that can help them in saving the world from tyrannical rule of Imperator. Along with this saving the world task the book was also about things they learn at Grimsby school – about friendship, teamwork and leadership.
I can’t tell you how great it felt to meet old characters even Marshall. There was addition of new one as well but not in Elena’s circle. So let’s meet Elena’s friends distinguishing students of Firebird unit at Grimsby school. I say distinguishing because they were different in one way or other way from the rest of the students. All other students were bioengineered kids- Blue eyes, blond hair or black/brown hair, brown eyes, and genetically altered physique (for boys).
Elena– Red haired freckled, 14-year -old girl who was hot headed, sarcastic, feisty, and moody. She was tough girl and was caring and always supportive for her friends. This year was struggling for her at school because of her loss in the first book. I liked her even more in this book.
Austin – was most mature person of the group who had great leadership ability. I still wonder about his parent’s part with Renegades.
Pigg– He was weakest boy of the school but best with technologies. His ability in saving himself from the harm and eating was tremendous. Don’t even ask me how much this small thin guy can eat. He was the funniest in the book. I laughed out loud at some points.
Fergie– She was great with codes and solving the mystery of artifacts. The revelation of how she was different from the others was shocking.
Declan and Abria– they were cousins but there was also other side of them and their parents that was reveal in this book. Declan was handsome and stronger in the group while Abria was beautiful, always happy and smiling girly girl, but extremely chatty and can tire you with gossips.
Kidd– grumpy one and as I said in first book bad-omelet of the group but also was one mysterious guy that I don’t know much about. The way he and Elena acted during simulation I thought they will get along from this point on but I guess it will take another book for both of them to be friends. He is important for the group as he was good at building and could drive hovercraft.
It started with prologue that gave the overview of how world came under the power of Imperator. I had a feeling that this prologue was connected with the first book so I checked it out in the first book and I realized how little I remembered from the first book. (So I suggest don’t take much gap between 1st and 2nd book) Coming back to main point, prologue was different but definitely connected with first book which was about what happened 12 years before when Imperator took over the world.
I loved illustrations in the beginning of each chapters which were not there in first book. I liked the drawing of all characters. They were perfectly made.
The world building was unique and interesting. It awed me to read all the about humanoid and android, all sort of high tech gadgets and technologies, specifically simulation as part of tests and Grimvators (kind of elevator but can go side by side as well) in school, oh that identity trademark scanners everywhere in the world that Imperator used to track and keep an eye on people.
After reading the previous book- that gave the basic info on world, overview of characters, their life before and in the Grimsby school that practically changed their course of life– I was thinking why Imperator took such an extreme step to take over world and changed everything later, what was the reason behind it. That reason was explained in this book. Also this book revealed many more info about the world, characters, and their parents.
Twists and turns- some I could see coming and some were shocking but definitely was great with knew info and excitement. It was like unweaving complicated knots one by one and still it seemed there is more to it.
I loved the teaching part at school and those test system. It was so wonderful that I wished I have studied at this school. The history lessons were good, not as great as it was in the first book, but I definitely liked all the facts mentioned in it like, worldwide flood in different versions that caused the migration, Seafaring, Assyrians and more. I was more intrigued by Marshall’s class and survival simulation than any other events of the book. Though it was pain for characters, I so enjoyed reading that portion.
I’m so curious in Kidd’s story, I wonder when I will get to know who Imperator is, and where the rest of the artifacts are and how they were going to retrieve and solve the mystery of it. With one mystery solved it directed to new ones with many questions.
The book had a different start and ending than any book I read till now. It looked exactly like one book broken in parts. It was kind of nice different and had a cliffhanger but also has its disadvantage.
I enjoyed this book more than first one and I’m looking forward to read next books of the series.
As the book was broken, the end looked sudden and abrupt that made me shout ‘hey, I was expecting it to end at proper place, now I have to wonder what happened after that till next book is released’. When it ends like this and I keep scrolling but screen won’t move and for a moment I think there is something wrong with the file, and then suddenly I realize only thing wrong is that I’m on last page. It’s really embarrassing (to myself of course!).
Overall, the book had unique and interesting dystopian world with colorful characters, nice smooth twist and turns that made this book unputdownable. I recommend this book who loves sci-fic dystopian novels with suspense and teaching part.
Author: J. S. Wood
*** Note: I received review copy of this book from the author, in exchange for an honest review. I am glad I got chance to read this book. ***
What do you think about the book and my review? Have you read this book already or previous book in the series? Have you read something similar to this before? Share your thoughts in comment-box below.